Buying The Perfect Hiking Socks
If you believe that buying a pair of hill climbing boots is troublesome, then just wait till it comes to getting a suitable pair of hiking socks.Now socks are socks, right? Well, when it comes to hiking, grabbing any old pair of sports socks out of the drawer simply will not work. Sadly, sports socks aren’t hiking socks and you don’t want to wear the same socks that you use for jogging or playing soccer when you head off on a lengthy hike.
Good hiking sock have to be comfortable but they also must be thick and very hard wearing with terrific thermal and moisture-wicking properties. Remember that, even if you’re just hiking modest distances at the weekends, you can doubtless cover getting on for 1,000 miles in a year and you should expect a great pair of hiking socks to last just about that distance.
Most importantly, you need your socks to provide you with comfort for that 1,000 miles. Issues such as chafing, blisters other foot damage can quickly turn a two or three mile hike back to your automobile into sheer agony if your socks are not up to the job.
Good moisture-wicking is also an absolute must. ‘Wicking ‘ is a method similar to that supplied by the wick in an old school oil lamp and simply means drawing sweat off the surface of your feet to keep them dry. If your socks do not do this, you may develop chafing, blisters, fungi and other less agreeable results. And, if you are worrying about bad smelling feet, this can be a small issue – we are talking about real health Problems here.
Whether you’re spending a lot of time hiking, or merely undertaking short hikes at the weekend, you will also need good thermal properties from your socks. In hot weather your socks have to conduct heat away from your foot and out thru your boot and, in colder weather conditions, they have to keep your feet at a comfortable temperature.
It may seem bizarre to believe that one pair of socks could handle both cold and hot conditions, but modern materials and manufacturing technology suggests that this is indeed possible today.
A good place to begin when looking out for a pair of hiking socks is to start with cotton, which is one of nature’s materials that offers the range of endowments you’re looking for. Nevertheless clever engineers have now managed to improve on Mother nature and mixes, for example Lycra, wool and others, mixed with micro-geometry manufacturing, can also produce hiking socks with great support and comfort, glorious thermal control and superior moisture-wicking.
All hiking socks should also have thickened areas around the toe, ankle and heel as these are the area that may get the maximum wear. You need to also ensure that there are no ridges, particularly near the toes or at the ankle bone. Ridges can be irritating to your feet as fast as a stone in your boot. Socks should also be long enough to come well above the top of your boot in order that they can be folded down.
All socks will lose elasticity at the top and regularly folding them down OTT of the boot is critical to stop them sliding inside the boot as you walk. Despite this fact, you must still try to buy socks which will not lose their flexibility too quickly.
Hiking socks aren’t inexpensive and you should expect to pay $10 a pair, or even more, for a fair pair. Nevertheless, this is one investment that, like your hill-climbing boots, is worth the cost and you should arm yourself with at least three or pairs of hiking socks and always carry at least one spare pair with you in your backpack.